NEA gets new board members
- Post Report, Kathmandu
Dec 20, 2016- The government on Monday appointed three new members to the board of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) immediately after sacking three board members on charges of obstructing reform process initiated by the state-owned power utility. According to the Ministry of Energy, Bhakta Bahadur Pun of Rukum, Chetraj Joshi of Bajura and Umesh Prasad Thani of Surkhet have been appointed as the new NEA board members. Pun represents consumers on the board, while Joshi and Thani are engineers and were appointed under the quota allocated for specialists. Earlier on Monday, Energy Ministry Janardan Sharma had sacked three NEA board members—Manoj Kumar Mishra, Laxman Prasad Agrawal and Suraj Lamichhane—for not cooperating with NEA Managing Director Kulman Ghising, who has taken measures to reform the NEA. Ghising is credited for getting rid of hours-long power cuts in Kathmandu Valley.
The board members were sacked after written clarifications submitted by them last week were deemed unsatisfactory, according to Gokarna Raj Pantha, deputy spokesperson for the ministry. “Therefore, the minister decided to relieve them from their duties with immediate effect and replaced them with new board members.” Early in December, Energy Minister Sharma had directed ministry officials to seek a written clarification from the three NEA board members after the trio allegedly held a board meeting and issued a minute calling on Ghising not to take decisions without getting a nod from the board of directors. Acting on the Sharma’s direction, Energy Secretary Anup Kumar Upadhyay, who is also the NEA chairman, wrote a letter to the trio seeking clarification within seven days. One of the charges levelled against the three was holding the board meeting in an illegal manner. “The three were not authorised to call the alleged 741st board meeting, as it was not on the agenda,” read the letter issued to the trio. “Also, the NEA Act doesn’t allow any board member to call board meetings without the approval of NEA chairman.” The trio were also accused of sending the minute of the so-called board meeting to Ghising, which said the NEA managing director had taken unilateral decisions while signing a power purchase agreement with India.